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Which U.S. President was the First to Visit Disney World?

One of the most historical events in history happened in what is perceived to be the happiest place on earth.

The 37th president of the United States of America, Richard Nixon, was the first president to visit Disneyland. The speech Nixon gave during his visit to Disneyland is forever seared in history, with his words, “I’m not a crook.”

(Source: All Ears)

Nixon’s Speech

Nixon gave a speech to about 400 managing editors from the Associated Press in Disney’s Contemporary Resort on November 17, 1973.

“People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”

Richard Nixon

(Source: Parkeology)

This speech has been repeated many times and has become a lasting legacy for the Nixon Administration in films and TV shows. However, what was almost overlooked is that the defining moment wasn’t given at either the White House or any other conventional political forum. It was delivered from Disneyland.

At this time, Nixon was already getting a lot of attention due to the Watergate Scandal. The scandal was the Nixon administration’s persistent efforts to conceal its involvement in the June 17, 1972 break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Following the arrests of the five criminals.

The press and the US Justice Department established a link between their cash and the Nixon re-election campaign committee. Months later, Nixon resigned from his Commander-in-Chief role. (Source: Archive)

Who was Richard Nixon?

Richard Milhous Nixon was born on January 9, 1913, in Yorba Linda, California. He was the second child of a service station owner/grocer and small lemon farm owner’s parents.

Nixon began his educational journey at Fullerton High School before transferring to Whittier High School, where he ran for student body president (but lost to a more popular student). Nixon finished second in his class in high school and was granted a Harvard scholarship, but his family couldn’t afford the travel and living fees. Instead of attending Harvard, Nixon enrolled at Whittier Collegiate, a Quaker school in his hometown. He established himself as a strong debater, a standout in college theatrical productions, and a successful athlete. Nixon obtained a full scholarship to Duke University Law School in Durham, North Carolina, after graduating from Whittier in 1934.

Nixon soon realized that he wouldn’t achieve his ambition in their small town, so he and his wife Pat moved to Washington. He first took a job at Roosevelt’s Office of Price Administration but was soon disillusioned with public service due to bureaucratic red-tape. He joined the Navy despite his exemption as a Quaker. Nixon held the rank of lieutenant commander before resigning his commission in January 1946.

Nixon soon after ran for a seat in the U.S. Congress, which was granted to him in 1946. Soon after, Nixon became a congressman in 1950, then vice-president in 1952. He ran for the presidency in 1960 but lost to JFK. Nixon again ran for the presidency in 1969 and won this time. (Source: Biography)

Nixon was credited for successfully ending the Vietnam war and improving relationships with the formerly U.S.S.R. He has also helped propel the country to a better nation in his time as a public servant.

Nixon resigned from office in 1974 but stayed as a statesman for the remainder of his life. Nixon died due to a massive stroke on April 22, 1994. (Source: Whitehouse)

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